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Yesterday, the Cubs’ transaction wire was updated to reflect another minor league signing – pitcher Cory Wade, whom the Cubs apparently inked back on December 13. I didn’t want to write this up in the middle of the Jackson/Villanueva madness, but since we’ve got a little breather, here you go.

Wade, 29, pitched in 2012 for the Yankees … very ineffectively. He put up a 6.46 ERA over 39 innings. HOWEVA, he was brilliant in 39.2 innings the year before, and in 2008 as a rookie with the Dodgers. He fell off in 2009 before spending 2010 in the minors, and catching on with the Yankees. Further, that “ineffective” 2012 season wasn’t all that bad by the peripherals. Wade’s WHIP was 1.385, and he walked just 1.8 per 9, while striking out 8.8 per 9. The real damage was done by way of the long-ball, and his 16.7% HR/FB rate suggests he was really unlucky in that regard (thus the very nice 3.65 xFIP).

Taking it all together, I’d say that Wade actually has a pretty fair shot of cracking the Cubs’ bullpen in 2013, and could be a nice arm in middle relief. He’ll get a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, and the Cubs will see what he’s got.

Like Andrew Carpenter and Jensen Lewis before him, Wade is a nice no-risk bullpen arm, who’ll compete for a job in Spring Training. I love that the Cubs are bringing in guys like this on minor league deals. There is the upside to be a bullpen regular, and the downside is depth at AAA. Might as well sign as many of ‘em as you can.

  • Frank

    I like it. Wade and Lewis are both nice options to join Marmol, Fujikawa, Russell, and Camp to complete a very strong bullpen. We could really use another lefty though.

  • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

    MLBTR reporting that Phillies are still seeking OF help but discouraged by the high salary demands of the current FA crop.

    Makes me wonder if that will bring them back to Soriano, as he may represent the best value on the market right now.

    • Frank

      I’m starting to dip into the Kool Aid just a little bit, at least if we do sign Jackson. Unless we can get something like Dom Brown for Soriano, I’d just as soon shop DeJesus.

      • praying the cubs get ready to win

        I agree. I would trade DeJesus, he brings nothing to the table. He blocks a spot for a youngster.

        • cub4life

          I must ask what youngster are you talking about, because last I checked B Jax i the most ready and we all saw that he isnt quite ready. On tat note I also disagree with you that DeJesus (4.25 mil with a club opion for next year, and looks to be traded around the deadline imo) brings nothing to the table, good deffensive outfielder, takes pitches and gets on base a decent amout of time, to me almost the perfect #2 hitter for a good line up. Now if we could trade hima and get something solid back for him I would say go for it, but I also feel the same about Sori.

  • colocubfan

    With Wade being a righty, he probably faced numerous left handed pinch hitters. That wouldn’t help his HR numbers with that short porch in Yankee Stadium.

  • Dustin

    The Brewers have agreed to sign free-agent left-hander Tom Gorzelanny to a two-year deal

  • Melrosepad

    Glad to see Wade brought in as he was one I mentioned before that I’d love to see with his low walks and good strikeout numbers. In some ways I’d rather see him in the bullpen instead of Camp based on age and upside.

    • Tobias

      If Wade does make it out of ST then it will allow the Cubs not to overuse Camp like they did in 2012. The bullpen seems to have more depth than last year which Camp was the most dependable which also saw Camp run out of gas toward the end of the year.

  • another JP

    More pitching depth is never a bad thing. Out of all these signings some of the them are bound to become solid contributors in the pen.

    • TheRiot2

      Making identifying those contributors of paramount importance to team success. It’s reassuring to know also that Camp can be spun off for a younger prospect at an area of need. Catching anybody ?

      • Good Captain

        Perhaps, but I bet you’ll be lucky to get anything above a C level player in return. That said, its better than nothing.

  • Jay

    At that point with us improving our pitching since last year, why trade Sori. He is the only offensive pop in the lineup. Like I said the pitching staff but well probably lose a lot of gmaes 3-1. Really wish we play alittle more small ball to with bunting and base stealing

    • Kenster

      Did you forget about Rizzo?? He seems to have some big power but hey im no scout. Also Castillo as pop he can put up 20 homers 70 rbi a year

  • Blublud

    Our pitching staff, while not elite, is starting to look legit with the additions of Baker, Feldman, Jackson, Villanueva, Wade, Lewis and co. If we can find an outfield bat(Swisher or Bourn) and get decent production from Ian Stewart, we might be able to sneak into contention in our weak division. I have to say, this Fo had me nervous, but Im pretty stoked right now.

    • MichiganGoat

      Yes but now get prepared for Campana to get cut from the 40 man.

      • Blublud

        I pretty confident Campana will be on the roster on opening day. I loved Campana cause he reminds me of my self. Extreme speed, great baserunner, great hustle and always plays hard. Only difference is I was considered a very good defensive SS for my level of play.

        • MichiganGoat

          Except he’s not a great base runner just a great base stealer, and who would you rather cut from the 40 man (baring trades that might open spots) I just don’t see him making the cut since he has yet to prove he can do anything else than steal a base. Everything else is below average and hustle is not a stat that qualifies anything that measures success. I understand why you want him to succeed- he is the poster child for the scrappy little man, but he just isn’t a 25 man player on most teams. Sorry he’s just not very good.

          • http://bleachernation tweb

            I would have to agree he isnt good enough to make a 25 man roster, he hustles but agree not a good base runner and a below average cf who cant hit like they say you cant steal 1st.

            • MichiganGoat

              He also gets picked off at an concerning rate

            • TheRiot2

              Maybe we can give him a padded Cub undershirt and see if he can do a reasonable Tim Foli impersonation. Foli lasted 15 years in the bigs with anemic Ryan Theriot #’s. of .251 AVG. and OBP.283, SLG..309 OPS 593

              The kicker is he leaned into the baseball 35 times and was told to take his base.Let’s see now,seems to me if you subtract 35 HBP and the OBP drops pretty darn close to his lifetime avg.

          • Blublud

            Raley, Rusin, Rosario, Dolis, Cabrera woild be ecamples of pitchers who only got a chance because we lack pitching depth. From there, I would go with Valbeuna.

            Look at the 40 man, even with Shierholz, Campana is at worse the 5 best oufltfielder, and in my opinion a starter over both Shierholz and Sappelt.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              I wouldn’t write off Dolis just yet. He struggled, but was also dumped into a job he really wasn’t ready for yet. He’s got the stuff to be a quality set up man for the Cubs, and I would not rule out closer.

              • MichiganGoat

                Plus pitchers have much more value than a bad OF

            • MichiganGoat

              Really better than Shierholz? Have you looked at his numbers compared to Campana? I understand you love what Campana promises- we all love a super fast player that as overcome obstacles but he cannot get on base and his defense is horrible- no arm, bad reads/jump=bad defense.

              • Blublud

                Right. So let dump the guy who put up .264/.308 but can steal everybase when he’s on for the guy who put up .257/321, but provides no value once he gets on. Campana scored 6 more runs in 100 less at-bats. Shierholtz provided a .08 WAR where Campana a .09 in less action. Yeah. I take Campana over Shierholtz.

                • Blublud

                  Sorry .8 to .9 is what I meant.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  but provides no value once he gets on.

                  There is no such thing as a baserunner who does not provide value once he gets on base. That’s why speed does not trump OBP.

                  • Blublud

                    Correct. Maybe I meeant extra value. However, a guy who steals 55 out of 59 bases in about a half of season worth of action for his career trumps a guy who is 24 out of 42 in close to a whole season worth action when the guy with less SB only gets on base 1.3 more time then the other guy every 100 at-bats.

                • MichiganGoat

                  I think your fandom of Campana is getting in way of you seeing the whole picture. He can barely get on base in limited action the more he plays the more pitchers will destroy him. The ability to steal a base is useless if he can’t get on regularly he needs to approach .350 OBP before he has value. I understand why you love him but here is where fandom clouds reality. He’s just not very good at anything but stealing a base.

                  • Blublud

                    Im comparing him to every outfielder in the game. Im comparing him to what we currently have on the roster. If we don’t add anymore OF, Campana is the third best right now on the 40 man roster.

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                I think the backlash against Campana has gone a tiny bit too far. He’s got some non-zero value as a fifth outfielder. Fangraphs has his baserunning and fielding as worth 1 win each over the last two seasons over league average.

                I really love our outfield depth right now, to be honest. Sappelt/Campana and Jackson at AAA is a really nice 4-6 on the depth chart.

                • MichiganGoat

                  I guess I see him as a clear candidate for a roster cut, he has reached his ceiling. But I know how much scrappy he has and now a backlash will come if he’s DFA.

                  • Kev

                    I agree. You don’t want a team of Rudy Ruettigers. You want a team of Calvin Johnsons. Not that we have anybody approaching that level of talent on the Cubs, but, well, you know.

          • Cub2014

            Here we go again. Yes he has no power. The guys has hit .265 in to partial seasons. That’s a pretty good start. What can he do in a full season? Maybe worse, probably better. We don’t know. Yet. Are we going to the world series in 2013?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          All I ever saw was extreme speed. I was once very fast, and the one thing that I still remember about being able to run fast was how effortless it was. It wasn’t work: it was pleasure. Oh, sure, you’d feel it after the fact, but when you are dashing, you are not thinking about “after”: it’s just raw adrenaline buzz.

          So, for someone like Campana, running fast was not “hustle” or “playing hard” any more than a wicked cut from a slugger is “hustle” or “playing hard”: it’s just the nature of the beast.

          • MichiganGoat

            Hustle might be the most frustrating description in all of sports. It basically says that all the other players do not have hustle which is ridiculous since in order to get to the pro sport level you have worked your ass off. Plus it leads to the even sillier adjectives like Scrappy and Gritty- these are not real stats people.

            • JoeyCollins

              Just had this conversation with a friend last night. A lot of OFs making diving or impressive looking plays that might be considered hustle usually could have played the ball better. Players with a good read for the ball off the bat and good jump make plays look easy. It’s not that they don’t hustle just that they get to the ball quicker.

              • MichiganGoat

                Jim Edmonds is a great example of someone who dove because of bad jumps- because of the ESPNy need for top plays many fans see dives as great plays. And Campana has never been good at those dive plays.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Other people (particularly Ken Griffey Jr.) have accused Edmonds of deliberately slowing down, then speeding up and diving/leaping/hotdogging the catch. Either way, the dives were not hustle: they either were for show or to make up for a bad jump.

                • terencem

                  Scouts didn’t like Edmonds’ range in the outfield when he was younger and some scouts have never changed their tune on that subject. We didn’t have the metrics then to tell us what we can determine now so you’ll just have to go with whatever you think best explains Edmonds’ defense.

              • MichiganGoat

                And a good defender understands the risks of diving- more often it turns a single into a double or triple. A good defender only dives when absolutely necessary to save a game.

            • PTBNL

              Funny, I remember several pages of comments on this board last year about Castro not “hustling” all the way home in Houston when Sappelt was thrown out at third on the sac fly. Keeping someone around when trying hard is their only skill is one thing but praising players who bust ass out of the batters box every time is not a bad thing.

              • MichiganGoat

                Yes “bust out of the batter box” is a great skill but when the player can’t get on base regularly is a useless skill.

                • PTBNL

                  As I said, if that is the only skill then there is an issue. But whenever it is mentioned that someone likes a player because they hustle the writer is treated as a plebe that doesn’t understand the intricacies of baseball and should do the world a favor by never speaking again. I am saying that “hustle” can be a force multiplier when combined with other skills. If you want to call it something else feel free but “hustle” can help a player be successful.

                  BTW, I am not arguing this in respect to a specific player. I think Campana for example is a fifth outfielder at best and for the most part a total luxury for late inning steals. But it grinds my gears when a player watches a double turn into a single because he jogged halfway to first.

            • Cub2014

              Have you ever played baseball? Talent is important but some teams come together and play above there level. Hustle ( running hard even if you are most certainly going to be out) affects teammates and can build a winning/confidence attitude which does translate into wins.

          • bbmoney

            I was once a great beer drinker.

            It’s pretty similar to Doc’s discussion of being very fast. You didn’t really notice how much you were drinking while you were drinking…but you would sure feel it after the fact.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Man, I had forgotten how true that analogy is…..

              :-)

        • ottoCub

          I also love Tony Campana. I also used to be a small, fast, player who couldn’t hit. And I also never belonged on a major league roster. Tony Campana will be cut from the 40-man roster very soon. Once Schierholtz is added, there is absolutely no reason to keep him on the roster. When he is cut, it is very likely that he won’t be picked up by any another team, which will be the perfect indicator that he isn’t a good enough ball player for the major leagues.

          TC is a single tool player. He is below average in hitting (using any stat you want to choose), he is a poor defender (both fielding and no throwing arm), and he is not a good baserunner (his 1 plus tool, speed, might get him up to average as a baserunner).

  • morgan

    would like the cubs to go after mike morse for some outfiled and power help, if they resign laroach, then they make him expendable, for the right price

  • calicubsfan007

    Just checked out MLBTradeRumors.com on the CV signing. A lot of Jays fans on there are saying that the Cubs picked up an underrated, clubhouse leader kind of guy. I am excited, but not too excited. I don’t want to get my hopes up completely yet.

  • emrac

    we are picking up nice small pieces to complete the bigger puzzle later on great job by the front office building up the team little by little

  • jbb

    I like the consistent activity for nice no risk bullpen arms. I do not recall the prior FO this deligent for adding pitching depth.

  • Morken

    I’ve always liked Wade.

    This signing makes a ton of sense; regardless of wether or not it works out.

  • Spoda17

    With Morales going to Seattle, I think the Soriano market will only get better… $5 Mill… shit some softball teams can afford that…

  • Andrew

    Like the signing, brings back bad memories of him mowing down all those cubs righties in the 2008 NLDS though.

  • http://bleachernation tweb

    I like the villanueva signing but dont understand the jackson signing, 4 years is to long he has been shopped his whole career dont you think there is a reason for that?

  • Edward

    Even with the additions to our rotation, I don’t see how it’s any better than last year. Shark, Wood, Maholm, Dempster and Garza is better than Shark, Garza, Baker, Villanueva, and Jackson, no? Pretty close?

  • Matt

    From what people have said is becasue he is a solid mid to end of the rotation guy. Think about it this way………..Teams that have traded with teams that had him on their team wanted him. From what i have read he is a good guy and once a top prospect in all of baseball in the dodgers organization. I think he has just been a victim of being one of those guys that bounces around. If teams didn’t want him he wouldn’t have been part of all trades he was involved in or people wouldn’t have signed him. Also, if he had issues I guarantee Theo and Co. wouldn’t have even looked at him

  • SirCub

    Love this move. I think there is a legitimate chance that the pitching depth actually holds up this year, in the pen and the rotation.

  • dan

    when if ever did a team sign 4 free agent staeters in one off season ?

  • dan

    starters (sorry)

  • rbreeze

    I like the CV signing and the potential signing of Jackson. You can’t have enough starting pitching. Baker may not be ready until later April or May. If all is well with Garza in ST, then maybe a desparate contender offers us something the FO likes. Soriano might be a better fit elsewhere come Spring time as well. But all of these pitching signings are just a bridge to 2014/2015. They are trying to put a decent team on the field for next year, allowing the farm system to grow another year. Then the wallets realy come out for FA’s and/or the trade possibilities get stronger for us.
    I love the way they go about their business too. In years past you knew who the Cubs were really targeting and there seemed to be no back up plan. Hendry was always all in on somebody and had to have that guy. Theo and Jed float around quietly and win some or lose some. The news about Sanchez caught a lot of us by surprise. I prefer surprises as opposed to lenghthy romances that never come to a climax!

    • cubbiesOHcubbies

      what do you mean???? Like the three years of rumors that the Cubs were going to trade for Brian Roberts? Is that the type of lengthy romance that never come to a climax you speak of?

      • Luke D

        And Jake Peavy. Don’t forget the “Peavy to Cubs” rumors.

  • Chris

    If Jackson signs, my guess is three of Rosario, Campana, Clevenger, and Rusin are removed from the 40-man roster to make room. Of those 4, my gut tells me Campana stays and he others get designated.

  • 2much2say

    If you look at Jackson’s stats consider 7 teams in short time frame That’s like pitching away games all year. Compare him to other away game only stat’s of top pitchers.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I seriously think if we sign Jackson for 4 yrs/52M…it could end up being a waaaay better deal than Sanchez. Injury histories…Jackson has none…Sanchez has had shoulder AND elbow. Just sayin’…

  • 2much2say

    Zack Greinke ERA
    Home 8 2 .800 2.98
    Away 7 3 .700 3.91

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Any news on Jackson? Last update I read was Olney’s tweet…

  • Alou Stew
  • Dustin

    Cubs have signed Edwin Jackson (four years, $52 million) and Carlos Villanueva, pending physicals. Per Patrick Mooney

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      Supposedly, MLB already has the paperwork on the contracts, so this is legit.

      Jackson gets $13 million a year for 4 years, with a 5th year at $13 million as a team option with a $2 million buyout.

      So in guaranteed money, it’s 4/$54 with a team option.

  • http://BleacherNation John RIchmond

    Brett, Why are the Cubs not pursuing someone like Grady Seizemore? Seems like a low rish high reward kinda guy.

  • blizzard

    I’ve been afraid to believe anyone until the press conference.

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